Hotline and Lab Notice
Diagnostics and ID
Late Blight - Cornell University - Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center
Cornell University Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

Horticulture Diagnostic Lab

Horticulture Diagnostic Lab:

The Horticulture Diagnostic Lab is operated by our Master Gardener volunteers. They can identify plants, insects and also diagnose plant diseases or damage caused by insects. Soil pH testing is also available in our Horticulture Diagnostic Lab. Samples for diagnosis may be dropped off at the Dutchess County Farm & Home Center M-F, 8:30 AM- 4 PM. Please allow 7-10 business days for diagnostic results. 

Sample Collection:

  • The sample to be submitted should contain all parts of the plant when possible.
  • Wrap the plant sample loosely in an unsealed plastic bag. 
  • Pack roots separate from branches, shoots, or foliage.
  • It is important that you try to collect the sample prior to any pesticide applications - once pesticides have been applied it may be difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
  • The sample should be taken from an area that has early symptoms of the problem. Areas that are completely dead often contain secondary organisms that may hinder detection of the primary pathogen.

Payment and Fees:

Horticulture Diagnostic Lab Fees:

Insect or Plant identification         
$20.00 per sample

Diagnose plant damage/disease
$20.00 per sample
Soil testing pH only
$15.00 per sample

All samples must include the submissions form and payment in order to be analyzed by our lab. We will not process samples until we have received payment in full. We accept Cash, Check and Credit Cards.

Horticulture Hotline:

Please Note: The Hotline/Lab will open the Week of April 15th.

Our Master Gardeners also operate our Horticulture Hotline, (845) 677-5067 that is open from April through October on Wednesday’s from 9am to 12pm, during inclement weather and travel restrictions it may not be staffed.

Here are some general tips on identifying plant diseases.  These tips will help you gather the information  needed before calling into our hotline or emailing in with questions.

For more information on our diagnostic services, dropping off samples or soil testing, please email or call Francheska Kuilan at or 845-677-8223 x115.

Ask Extension

Written questions can also be submitted at Look for the Ask a New Question button, then select New York from the dropdown menu, and then finally select the county closest to you. If a photograph is included, please ensure it is focused and as close up as possible. These questions will be answered by our Master Gardener volunteers during our scheduled Horticulture Hotline Hours mentioned above.

You can also submit emails/questions here:

Cornell Diagnostic Services:

More information can also be found at Cornell University Diagnostic Services:

Gardening Information:

Last updated April 1, 2024